Moscow & St Petersburg
“Knowing a bit about Russian art brings to life the culture of the entire country.” - Andrew Graham-Dixon
Moscow and St Petersburg have always remained pivotal to Eastern Europe’s culture and unsurprisingly harbour some of the world’s most influential history, finest architecture, most stunning art and artefact collections, and thus almost always feature on today’s travellers’ wish lists of ‘must see’ destinations.
First to Moscow – for many steeped in mystery, but the grand “Cold War” Soviet parades are long gone now, yet the city still retains a tantalising, almost remoteness from Europe’s other great capitals.
Top of any visitor’s list is the extraordinary Kremlin complex, three cathedrals, great palaces, the Senate, the remarkable Treasury plus several grand squares and towers. Equally recognisable are St Basil’s Cathedral with its amazing multi-coloured domes, plus the monumental Red Square – home to Lenin’s tomb, whose worldwide influence like Stalin’s, remains undeniable if somewhat tainted.
Yet there is so much more to Moscow than the awe inspiring sights and politics. See the city’s fine university where famous writers like Chekhov, Sakharov and Pasternak studied and the stunning Bolshoi is arguably the world’s finest ballet. Shopping takes on a refreshing novelty in the grand arcades of Tverskaya Street and bohemian Arbat Street. Gorky Park, Stalin’s Bunker, the Gulag Museum, Victory Park and Tolstoy’s house…. the list of fascinating places goes on, and all linked by the legendary metro with its cathedral like stations and grand designs – Moscow is utterly unique.
Next, one of the world’s most beautiful cities, St Petersburg, Imperial capital of the Tsars, founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and truly worthy of an emperor!
The majestic boulevards and splendid baroque buildings, threaded by winding canals and set amongst great parks are so redolent of the classical Italy which so inspired Peter’s great vision.
A magnificent monument of old Russia, the Tsar’s winter palace, the Hermitage houses one of the world’s finest art collections; the magnificent St Isaac’s Cathedral is simply inspiring and the waterfront’s grandeur has to be seen to be believed. The Peter and Paul Fortress with its ornate cathedral featuring marbled columns and glittering chandeliers is the Romanovs’ final resting place and so close to the cruiser Aurora, whose guns announced the Russian Revolution. St Petersburg though has another face too: lose yourself in the parks, take a stroll along the canals criss-crossing the city or window shop in the city’s department stores and markets. Then there is the Kirov (now known as the Mariinsky), one of the world’s most famous ballet companies where Nureyev, Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova gained worldwide recognition. Other famous St Petersburgers include Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Pushkin whose wonderful cultural legacies still endure.
The city was founded by an Emperor and was home to Catherine the Great and the Romanovs. Subsequently the Revolution radically changed the course of 20th century world history and then came a change of name to Leningrad; the arrival of Stalin; the Second World War’s brutal three year siege followed by the ‘Cold War’. Recently it has been time for two more St Petersburger to take centre stage: Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. Today St Petersburg has emerged wonderfully from this turbulent past, reclaiming its rightful place amongst the world’s most beautiful and fascinating cities
Personalise Your Holiday
A night at the ballet is surely something not to be missed when in Russia, the home of classical ballet. Performances at some of the top theatres in both Moscow and St Petersburg can sell out within hours of going on sale, and ticket prices can be eye watering. The small and intricately decorated Hermitage Theatre (part of the Hermitage Complex) was commissioned by Catherine the Great as her own private theatre, where she frequently enjoyed performances with a small and select crowd of invitees. Nowadays the theatre hosts frequent performances of the popular ballet, Swan Lake, with a view to opening ballet up to a wider audience. A free seating policy is operated, as there is no such thing as a bad or restricted view in this small venue. What could be better than following in the steps of Catherine the Great for an evening of sophisticated entertainment?
Price from £130 per person.This cannot be booked online, please call us to pre-book this experience.
- Return flights
- Six nights, centrally located four-star accommodation with breakfast
- Sightseeing tour of Moscow
- New Inclusion: Visit the Vodka Museum in St Petersburg -learn about the history and traditions of vodka-drinking plus enjoy a tasting of this iconic Russian tipple
- Tour of Red Square and the Kremlin, one of the world’s most thought provoking building complexes
- Tour of some of Moscow’s most iconic metro stations
- Travel by high speed train between Moscow and St Petersburg
- Sightseeing tour of St Petersburg
- Tour of the Hermitage, winter palace of the Tsars with one of the world’s greatest fine art collections
- Visit the Peter and Paul fortress, home of the cruiser Aurora, which fired the first shots of the Revolution, changing world history
- Tour of Peterhof, summer palace of the Tsars, with its outstanding gardens
- 'Personalise Your Holiday'Call us to pre-book your tickets for a night at the ballet
- Services of experienced Tour Manager
- The price includes six night bed and breakfast accommodation in four star hotels, return flights, airportdeparture taxes, return transfers, all tours and entrance fees as mentioned,guided visits of Moscow & St Petersburg, guided tour of the Kremlinincluding entrance into the Armoury museum, guided tour of Moscow Metro, visit to the Moscow Voska Museum, second class high speed Sapsan train from Moscow to St Petersburg withreserved seat, entrance to Hermitage museum, entrance to Peterhof, services ofa Riviera Tour manager.
- Not included
- Russian visa - See below for details.
- A night at the ballet - From £130 per person. See 'Personalise Your Holiday' section for details.
- All Russia Visa Application forms must be completed electronically and be signed by the applicants. The granting of a visa is at the discretion of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in London and its Consulates. All payments made towards visa fees and service charges are non-refundable and do not guarantee the issuance of a visa should your application be declined. Please ensure you have at least two empty pages in your passport, and that it is valid for a minimum of six months after the visa's expiration. You will also need one recent passport photo, a 'Tourist Voucher' which can be obtained from the hotel via us - no charge applies for this however a fee of approximately £105pp is charged by the hotels should the reservation be cancelled. Applications can be made by post or in person at the embassy however the initial application must always be completed on line athttp://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk.
- Alternatively should you require additional help please contact us for a recommendation of agencies who can help with your application. Please apply for you tourist voucher and visa no more than six weeks prior to travel.
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